Focus Launches The New Sam. Introducing, the Focus Sam.

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2019 Focus SAM

Roost! The new Focus SAM
This is the top-specced SAM, the 9.9, with full carbon front and rear and a RockShox spec.
If you don’t fancy the black on black look, the 8.9 isn’t far behind.

Today, Focus launches its new 170mm enduro bike. It’s called the SAM (just like the old one) and features 170mm travel front and rear. And if it looks a little familiar, it’s because the same looking design is used on the existing Focus SAM2 (Sam Squared) e-bike that we showed you last year.

Focus defines it as a “lifestyle/“all-mountain” bike rather than a pure enduro race bike, and has designed the geometry and linkage kinematics around fun rather than outright speed. The new bike uses the “FOLD” (Focus Optimised Linkage Design)system as found on the current SAM2 and JAM bikes. This linkage system comprises of a main linkage which connects to the shock, and is designed to be very stiff; and a secondary guide link which is engineered to have a small amount of flex to allow a more forgiving back end.

The linkage produces a ratio curve which initially increases to the sag point (at 55mm) before falling as it goes through the travel. This means that it gets progressively harder through the travel. Although some of the athletes are running coil shocks, it has been designed around (and apparently works best with) air.

Want some numbers? Here you go:

Stack 600mm, Reach 420mm, Seat Tube 400mm.

Stack 610mm, Reach 440mm, Seat Tube 425mm

Stack 623mm, Reach 460mm, Seat Tube 450mm

That’s the 9.9 looking all sultry for ya…
We have to admit, the 8.9 is a good looker. Possibly more so than the full carbon job.
The two rockers of the F.O.L.D. system
Neat cable porting…
The 8.9 gets some bold artwork on the top tube
The 9.9 is a little more, golf perhaps?

The new frame is 400g lighter than the old one (now 2337g frame-only weight in size medium). Much of this weight has been lost on the back end of the bike, reducing unsprung mass. Geometry is updated on the previous SAM, reducing seat tube lengths and making everything a little slacker and longer as you might expect. For the medium sized bike, seat tube is 425mm, reach is 440mm, head angle 64.8 degrees. The new bike also now includes bottle bosses.

Bikes we’ve seen so far are the Sam 9.9 and 8.9. The first part of the number (9.x or 8.x) refers to the frame platform. The 9.x means that it is carbon front and rear. Bikes beginning with 8.x have a carbon front triangle and aluminium rear. The second number refers to the spec level, hence 9.9 is the top spec carbon bike, 8.9 is the top spec carbon /alu bike.
The top-end Focus SAM 9.9 comes with Lyrik, Super Deluxe and Race Face wheels. UK price will be £5499
The SAM 8.9 comes with with Fox Float 36 Rhythm and DPX 2 shock, Eagle GX 12 speed and DT E1900 wheels. It’ll be £3599

And here’s how it would look if designers still used pencils…
Though it’s obviously aimed at enduro-racers, Focus reckons it’s not all full-face-fun.
…though it does seem to have a particularly light front wheel.
See? He can barely keep it on the ground.

We’ve had someone putting some miles on the new SAM and we’ll let you know our first impressions of this floaty new bike later in the week. In the meantime, you can see what Focus says about it here:

This is also where the SAM is designed to excel – racing your mates.

And for those of you who prefer moving pictures

(Can’t see the magic moving people? Click here…)

That wheel’s doing it again…

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Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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